Category Archives: Pictures

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Goldfinch in the Autumn Sunshine (+bonus Starlings)

The last day of October 2020 brought a dull and grey morning and some heavy rain over lunchtime and early afternoon in West Berkshire. But around mid afternoon it cleared up and the sun came through, giving some nice autumn afternoon sunshine. As soon as the rolls I had started baking at lunchtime as the heavy rain stopped me from going anywhere were finished I grabbed my camera to try and get a few shots. I only had about an hour before the sun went too low and no time to go far, but I managed to catch these Goldfinches on a tree in its autumn colours (and some bonus Starlings on the top of a bare tree branch):

As usual click on the pictures for the large size gallery view. I hope you enjoy and like the pictures, I must admit I’m quite pleased about the first picture, managing to catch the Goldfinch just in the hole in the autumn leaves (there were also plenty failed versions of that picture…).

Autumn colours along the Kennet & Avon Canal in West Berkshire

Having decided not to travel to Islay because of the Covid-19 pandemic this year I had a two week staycation at home in West Berkshire. Unfortunately the weather didn’t turn out as nice as I had hoped, so I didn’t get out for walks as much as I had thought (I ended up visiting a Swedish furniture store and completing some home improvements I had thought about for a while instead). Still, I managed to squeeze in a few short sunny walks along the Kennet & Avon Canal allowing me to take a few nice autumnal pictures (click on the pictures for the full size gallery):

Except for the first picture (which is from my flat overlooking the canal in Aldermaston Wharf) all the pictures are from the towpath from Aldermaston Wharf walking west towards Woolhampton. Some really nice autumnal colours around, especially over the second week. All the pictures were taken with my large wide angle zoom lens (14-24mm, mostly towards the 14mm), allowing me to capture some big views of the trees and their autumn colours.

I hope you’ll enjoy the pictures and the colours.

Grass Snake going for a swim on the canal

Having only taken pictures from my windows for a few weeks I ventured out along the Kennet and Avon Canal when the lockdown restrictions were eased a bit. I stopped near Frouds Lane to try to take a few pictures of birds crossing the canal. That wasn’t very successful. I was just about to leave when I got lucky, although not with a bird. I noticed some motion on the other side of the canal and suddenly a Grass Snake swimming across the canal came into view:

I must admit I didn’t know that snakes can swim until I saw this one doing it. This snake had to cross the canal twice (and did it quite easily it seems): It came across only to realise that on the other side was a retaining wall about 2 ft high, so it couldn’t get out. It had a brief look, then turned around and swam back where it disappeared into the undergrowth (no wall on that side). The tongue was nicely visible several times and the head nicely reflected/mirrored on the water. I hope you like and enjoy these pictures. I certainly enjoyed the moment and watching the snake.

Birds and more from my windows

During the first several weeks of the Coronavirus lockdown I wasn’t able to go out with my camera. As I live in a flat and therefore don’t have a garden I couldn’t even go out into the garden and take pictures there. Still, I did have my windows (including the door of my “fake balcony”) and I managed to take a few pictures from there. Here are some of the better ones:

Nothing spectacular, Blue Tits, Great Tits and Sparrows are what I mainly see from my window. But also a distant Heron at the top of some trees around a nearby pond. Also some insects collecting pollen. And a beautiful clear Moon in the afternoon light.

Steam Train passing Aldermaston Station

After the (luckily short) heat wave this week it was pleasantly cool this Saturday morning, also a bit damp as it had rained most of the night and still hadn’t fully stopped by the time I decided to leave for the train station. For it was time to watch and photograph another steam train passing Aldermaston Station.

Since the electrification of the line watching steam trains passing through isn’t the same any more, but then again some progress is necessary and I certainly prefer the electric trains over the old stinking and noisy Diesels we had before.

I haven’t bothered looking up the details of the steam engine pulling the train today, I hope you’ll still enjoy the pictures without that information. If you do know more about the locomotive feel free to leave the information in the comments.